Friday, November 21, 2008


"Big sisters are the crab grass in the lawn of life."

~ Charles M. Schulz

Monday, November 17, 2008

Feelin Like A Fur Hag

Ever get the feeling that you are living a sitcom? Sometimes I think that I must be being 'punked' or something.. yet I never see any video playback. Thank god. My life sometimes reminds me of 'I Love Lucy' (my mom's all-time fav show, so I've seen many, many, many episodes}.
So if someone out there is filming a 'The Truman Show' type series on my life.. I hope you are enjoying.

Today's show opens with Mom and the 2 girls, busy in the kitchen.
3 yr old is whining loudly that she wants to sit in the highchair and be fed like a baby.
Baby is extremely tired and is trying to walk to mom and grab her leg, falling every other step and bursting into loud sobs.
Mom is trying to cook dinner for herself and 3-yr old (pasta is close to boiling over, oven timer is beeping, pasta sauce is bubbling away) as well as prepare a soy-formula-plus-Carnation-breakfast-micro'd-25-seconds-in-coffee-mug-first-bottle for (seemingly lactose-intolerant..ick) baby.
Mom opens the new formula can - crrrrrrrrrrrrk! - and POOF!
What must be a full cup of formula powder explodes from the can and instantly covers mom's face, mom's clothing, the countertop, the floor, part of the dog's head, and the top of the baby's head.
A moment of silence.

Haa.. Ok I enjoyed the title of this blog post. Hopefully my readers get the link b/t my day and Lindsay Lohan's encounter with PETA recently (it's on the news as I type). Yes, this is the kind of entertainment I get when the kids go to sleep by 7:30 pm, hubby is traveling, and I am out of vino. ;)

Ok, so off-subject, but I somehow (and please don't ask, but I'm really not sure how).. stumbled across the following video today. I laugh b/c it sounds so much like my MIL in the beginning '...this is a very popular dish with my husband.. you can feed him this every day." Heehee.. :) Ok that doesn't sound funny when I read back thru this.. but if you have an Indian MIL, you might appreciate (it's cute really!). I am so easily entertained these days I guess.
But in all honesty, I'm a little excited to find that these recipes are on youtube. I was just thinking today that, although our India trip was a bit painful and kept painfully hanging on for weeks after our return.. I soooo miss the food! Amy's brand micro-meals are good, but they aren't the real thing. {omg, I hope my MIL did not just read that!}

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Just When You Thought..

..that you are ready to hide in the back of the closet and cry because you are feeling overwhelmed by toddlers who are screaming, crying, hitting each other, fighting over toys, banging pans, licking shoes, smacking their heads into the hardwood flooring, spilling drinks, smacking yogurt across the kitchen, having blow-outs in their diapers, refusing to eat the dinner you managed to cook while being clung to like a life preserver in the middle of a raging ocean.. you are suddenly overwhelmed by cuteness and you almost.. almost.. forget the stress.

After I put Devika to bed this evening (at 6:30 - she was sooo tired - thank god!) - I took Maya outside to look at the gorgeous full moon.
There were the perfect amount of clouds surrounding it, so it reflected off the edges of the clouds and lit up the sky. The moonlight bounced off of the gurgling stream and reflected into the still pond, and a very light breeze rustled through the few remaining crispy leaves still clinging to the Aspens.
Maya padded out onto the moonlit deck in her roomy red footed-blanket-jammies (aka 'baby jammies').. and stood looking with wonder at the beautiful sky.
After a minute or so, a small voice filled with awe arose ~

'Mommy? Could you please lift me up so I can touch it?
I need to touch it please, Mommy.'
So I lifted her up and told her to reach out her arm.. but alas, she still could not reach the glowing moon.
'I can't reach it! Could you please stand on something tall?'

:) I took this moment to tell her that the only way that she could reach the moon would be to go to school and study very, very hard.. so that some day she could become an astronaut and could take a rocket to the moon.
'With Mommy??' she asked. 'Hmm.. we'll have to see about that.' I replied.
Now she is totally psyched to go to school tomorrow. And I'm totally psyched to end this day and start it all over again.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My Name Is Devika!

Hi, my name is Devika!
I'm a
funny little girl!
I love to dance and bang my head,
I'm learning how to twirl!

I'm only 13 lbs,
But I'm as strong as 33!
I do perfect somersaults,

It's something everyone should see!

When I came home
I was scared
My parents feared the worst.

I screamed and cried and rocked,
My parents worried I would burst!

Now I've been home
For 4 short weeks
The time has really flown!

It's amazing how much I've changed
And how big and tall I've grown!

I'm happy now,
I laugh a lot!
I've blossomed so fully
In the love that I've sought!

I'm pudgy and bouncy,
I jump and I walk.
I play with my sister,
I'm learning to talk!

Life as a family
Is so special you see?
I love my family
And they all love me!

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Maybe the girls are working up toward joining 'Stomp'?

Facts and Updates

In the spirit of National Adoption Month, here are a few facts that point to the crisis occurring worldwide in regard to children who are orphaned/homeless:
  • There are estimated to be approximately 143 million orphaned or homeless children in the world today. Different sources quote different numbers (Joint Council on International Childrens Services, UNICEF, etc).. but that number seems to be an average.
  • 200 million children under the age of 5 are malnourished (Global Health Council)
  • Each year, more than 10 million children in low- and middle-income countries die before reaching their fifth birthday. Seven in 10 of these deaths are due to just five preventable and treatable conditions, or often a combination of them: pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria, measles, and malnutrition. (World Health Organization)
Makes you think eh? Sure we are having massive economical issues within our country - and worldwide - but many (if not most of the blog-reading community) of us still have roofs over our heads, food on our tables, and clothing to keep us warm and protected. Not to mention computers to blog on! My request for all of you who are reading this post: PLEASE take a minute out of your busy holiday preparations this year and think about these kids. PLEASE find it within yourselves to give a few dollars to help with this global crisis. If we all do a little, we can achieve so very much.

In other, more personal news. All of you who told me that 2 kids are more than double the work of 1 child - you weren't kidding! Ok, I'm looking at this from the perspective of having 2 kids with bad colds. This is one of those days that we will go thru at least 1/2 a box of tissues. Not to mention the number of uses of that dreaded nasal aspirator and the saline spray. Y U C K. It's a challenge, that's for sure! When Maya sees the bottle of saline spray come out of the cabinet, she mysteriously disappears with total silence! I might start using this as a sanity break in the future.. ha!
I recently put Devika down for a nap. I propped up one side of her mattress to help her breathe while napping... and of course she fell asleep with her head at the opposite end of the mattress and her feet at the high end. Sigh.
Now Maya is smacking her toy piano keys and yelling out 'Mommy could you PLEASE DANCE WHILE I PLAY???!!!' 'MOMMY! YOU HAVE TO DANCE! DANCE DANCE!' Criminy.
Yesterday Maya and I had 'Mommy and Maya Day' and ventured out to a local museum which had the Grossology exhibit on display. Now THAT was interesting! Seriously, I never had the need to know that much information about vomit/poop/hairballs/gas/belching. I do have to admit that I found much of it pretty entertaining though. :) Especially Maya's reaction to the 'scent' exhibit. We didn't linger at that one!

Funny story from yesterday:
We are in the car (all of us), and Aj is driving. Some woman turns in front of him and is driving quite slowly. Aj yells 'Hurry up - IDIOT!'. Suddenly Maya yells (mimicking Daddy's tone perfectly): 'Hurry up - INDIAN!'.
Haahaa.. ok we found this hilarious and laughed so hard that Daddy almost had to pull over!

Maya update: She is doing so well at her school! She is now actually interacting well with the other kids (not playing alone), and likes to answer questions during 'math', etc. She loves dancing - I'm going to sign her up for dance classes which are held by a 3rd party teacher at the school. She loves singing songs - finally she is singing again. She stopped for a couple wks after India - a big sign that she was going thru some tough adjustments.
She has recently discovered her skin color is 'dark'. Must be from school. There are no other dark-skinned kids in the preschool classes. She constantly talks, quite matter-of-fact-ly, about how she and Devika and Daddy are 'dark' and Mommy is 'light'. She doesn't ask questions or seem concerned about it.. just making note.
She luvs using her kid-scissors, luvs stickers, luvs anything messy, luvs poop (don't ask.. but yes, it is called 'the anal stage' of life for a reason..ick), luvs swings (still), luvs diapering dolls/bears/thomas the train/her sister, luvs reading books to me (more than listening these days), luvs new clothes/shoes, luvs slurping on 'bottles', being treated like a baby, going to the store/museum/postoffice/coffee shop, talking about her grandparents, and food (thank god - this is a new one!!).

A little Devika-update: She is still doing great, other than the respiratory issues. We ventured out to a party last night (she wasn't bad yesterday, obv this wasn't the best idea on our part..) and she had so much fun! She didn't seem overwhelmed by the amt of adults and kids. She ate several teeny bites of my pizza (as did Maya and another girl.. I had no bites myself - felt like I was a momma-bird).. she crawled and cruised all over the house.. she licked the drink cooler (oops.. taking after mommy already!).

She has been working hard on her walking - she can now take up to 6 or 7 steps, though she has to stop a few times to gain her balance. She is in the drunken-sailor phase! It is so cute. :))
She has gained an entire pound and 1/4" since her first doc appmt - yay! She is still best-fitting-into 3-6 month clothing, but can wear a few of her 6-month outfits. Depends on the brand. She is hungry ALL the time. It's insane! Sometimes we forget.. she is whiny.. we suddenly think 'could she want food.. AGAIN??'.. and yep - that's the solution! Keep it up little girl!
She has a word for 'daddy' and a word for 'mommy'.. though daddy is something like 'de-jjjjj'.. and mommy is something that begins with the 'm' sound and goes in another direction. She hates having her nose wiped, face wiped, bathing, putting on clothing, touches to her hair/head, going into her bedroom, and having toys taken away by her si
ster. She loves taking toys from her sister, food, hugs, toys, the dog, picking her nose (ugh), dancing/music, the phone ringing, and taking steps.
Devika has a very strong personality and a cute sense of humor that is beginning to show. Daddy calls parenting the girl 'the taming of the shrew'. I'm not sure that is very nice sounding, but he means it in a very loving way. ;)

Phew. Can't believe I had time to blog all of this today! Now baby is waking and Maya needs more food/attention. The Jets are WINNING (omg!).. Daddy just made me a Mimosa.. so it's mommy-time. Happy Sunday!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

National Adoption Month

We've gone purple again, in honor of National Adoption Month!

National Adoption Day is a collective national effort to raise awareness of the 129,000 children in foster care waiting to find permanent, loving families. For the last eight years, National Adoption Day has made the dreams of thousands of children come true by working with courts, judges, attorneys, adoption professionals, child welfare agencies and advocates to finalize adoptions and find permanent, loving homes for children in foster care.

Celebrated in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, more than 300 events are held each year throughout the country to finalize the adoptions of children in foster care, and to celebrate all families who adopt. In total, more than 20,000 children have been adopted from foster care on National Adoption Day. This year, National Adoption Day will be Saturday, November 15, 2008*. {}

I was privileged, myself, to help one of the sponsors of National Adoption Day - the Dave Thomas Foundation and Wendy's Wonderful Kids ~ Heart Gallery. I recently photographed two children who are waiting in foster care, hoping to be adopted. It was a wonderful experience, though also difficult. Both kids were so filled with personality - cute/smart/charming. I wanted to take them both home with me. One of them had the deepest eyes.. eyes that looked as if they have seen much more than they should have seen in his short 10 years. I have a photo of him that truly moves me. This photo gallery will be displayed and moved to different cities within our state - displayed in airport/museums/etc - in the hopes that an interested family will be found for them.

The Dave Thomas Foundation also sponsors A Home for the Holidays ~ which is a television special which is now in its 10th year. I LOVE this show and have seen it every year somehow. I don't think I've ever missed one - I just always happen onto it. The past couple of years I have actually looked and planned for it.. but all other years were just coincidental.
In 2007, the celebrity line-up included Sheryl Crow, James Blunt, Karmina, Carole King, and Reba McEntire. David Krumholtz, comedian George Lopez and René Russo who were among the celebrities that presented inspirational stories of extraordinary families who shared the joys found through foster care adoption.

Anyhow, the show is airing this year on CBS - Tuesday, December 23rd 8-9 pm EST/PST and 7-8 pm CST/MST. If you have never seen this show, you should NOT miss it. It is just such a moving show. I always get teary. {ok i don't watch it with just anyone.. so if i ditch you on the 23rd at that time, it is nothing personal.. haha}

As an adoptive parent of two beautiful, amazing little girls.. I feel a strong drive within myself to help bring together other adoptive families. I don't know when or even if Aj and I will decide to adopt again (not for awhile, I don't think I'm mentally capable of dealing with 3 toddlers/pre-schoolers while my hubby travels for work. We are doing a 'looong pause' at this point of our lives to see how things progress for us as a family. When we adopted Maya, we KNEW we wanted another immediately. We began the adoption applications - mailed in part I - on the same day that we finalized Maya's legal adoption. It was a very happy and exciting day for many reasons.

We won't be rushing into the next process as quickly. Time to take a breather.. pad up the bank accounts a bit more (they've taken quite a pounding between 2 back-to-back int'l adoption processes and then the stock market movements), and carefully consider next steps. We have actually begun talking about other adoption-related ventures that we are both very interested in. We will begin to explore these soon.. and hopefully start taking baby steps in that direction (more in the lines of fund-raising/advocating/education). I'm very excited just thinking about possible options. We are both very entrepreneurial, and we both hold this passion. I think that, working as a team (and utilizing some of the networking we have acquired over the past 4 years), we could come up with something incredible. We have a mission in life, and we are beginning to work our way toward setting it into motion and fulfilling our goals. We hope that, in fulfilling our goals, we are also setting others out on a mission with the same goals.. and that this continues. So much needs to be done to help the innocent children in this world - children who need families/love/support/etc. in order to become their true selves and live full lives.

We love our kids so much.. it is painful to consider all the children who might never feel the love of family. It probably hurts you more when you actually step into an orphanage.. or if you meet with foster kids.. and you see their faces. They don't even need to say anything - it's in the eyes.


Here's to Hope ~ that through this month of advocating events in cities, towns, businesses, etc.. many, many, new families are created or grown.

Further information can be found by visiting the following sites:;;

Saturday, November 1, 2008

On The Way Up

I don't have much time, but wanted to post and update that things are on their way up. Devika had a GREAT day today! She really acts like a normal baby now, and we only rarely see the grieving or clinging-to-daddy, etc. She has actually cried when I left the room (even tho Daddy was still with her).. and has been so cute, smiley, and fun! Her older sister is still dealing with the transition, and I guess it will take awhile. I worry occasionally b/c Maya gets a bit 'violent' and really tries to hurt the baby. We are now doing a 'yellow light, red light' method. If we say 'yellow light', it means she is treading on THIN ice.. and if we say 'red light', she is immediately removed from the room and put in her toy room with the door shut in order to calm down. So far it seems to be working somewhat.. and at least we aren't yelling at her or trying to be calm while she could be actually hurting Devika.
Argh. So much to learn, so much to learn. And when I say that, I mean for US as parents!
But once in awhile, I see a glimmer of hope. I love, love, LOVE to see the two girls playing together. I can just imagine days to come. I can't wait! :) They are so darn cute.
Halloween was a fun time. Maya went out with Daddy and our neighbors.. while I stayed at home with D and the neighbor mom. It was a nice relaxing evening for me.. and Maya had a lot of fun. It was good for her to be away from baby and doing something where she was more the center of attention and where she was hanging out with a young teenager rather than a preschooler or baby.
Devika is REALLY trying to walk lately! Today she spent about 30 minutes trying to walk, falling, trying again. She got 4-5 steps at the most, but she is looking stronger!! Again, oh so darn cute!! She laughs and plays most of the time and is a very cute and snuggly little girl. I can't wait to see how adventurous she gets and how fast she can run in a couple of months!
Here's a little video from our Halloween.. :)